Georgia state Democrat Park Cannon shot into the spotlight this week after she was arrested at the statehouse while knocking on the door of Gov. Brian Kemp’s office as he signed a controversial election bill.
Dramatic video showed the state congresswoman from Georgia’s 58th district being dragged out by police on Thursday.
“She was instructed that no one was in the front office and to stop beating on the door,” troopers wrote in a statement after the arrest, according to FOX 5 of Atlanta.
She was booked in prison on charges of obstruction of law enforcement and preventing or disrupting General Assembly sessions or other meetings. The obstruction charge carries a potential penalty of one to five years in prison, FOX 5 reported.
Cannon was released shortly before 11:30 p.m. EDT, and was greeted by demonstrators who had called for her release.
Cannon’s arrest ignited outrage from Democrats. “I think anyone who saw that video would have been deeply concerned,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing Friday. “The larger concern here, obviously beyond her being treated in the matter she was, is that law that was put into place.”
“I stand with Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon (@Cannonfor58), who was arrested and CHARGED WITH A FELONY for … for what?” Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., wrote on Twitter. “For *knocking on Gov. Kemp’s office door* as she tried to observe the cowardly closed-door signing ceremony for the voter suppression law.”
“Arresting a sitting member of a legislative body, while in session for knocking on the door of the Governor is wild and completely unacceptable,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted. “Are there laws against knocking on the Governor’s door in Georgia, what is she actually being arrested for?”
Cannon was released from jail around 11:30 p.m. on Friday.
“Hey everyone, thank you for your support. I’ve been released from jail. I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true. #SB202,” Cannon wrote on Twitter.
“And make no mistake, when I say hate, I mean white supremacy. The closed-door signing of #SB202 and the senseless murder of #AAPI Georgians are both products of a white supremacist system. Different tactics, same goal: fear and control,” she continued.
The bill in question requires state-issued ID to request an absentee ballot and limits drop boxes for early voting periods, requiring them to be placed at early voting locations and only available while the precinct is open. It bans outside groups from passing out food and water to voters waiting in line at the polls and allows the state to take over county elections or remove local elections officials.
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